Sun, Freedom and Taxes… done 😊 Okay that is only 3 things and we like to be more thorough than that!
Infact there is more to it and in this post will break down our reasons further. In our last post we shared the moment we decided we HAD to leave the UK. However, it was not just one single bad day on the M25 that drove us to leave, it was an accumulation of multiple things we came to realise over time.
If we had to sum up why we personally left the UK for the USA it would be for the following 5 reasons:
Our 5 Reasons to leave the UK for the USA…
- Oh the Weather!
Some people love the UK weather… we are not some people. Ant in particular hates the cold, the wet, the dark. Since living in Las Vegas, we have come to truly appreciate just how much the grey weather was affecting our moods, energy and general sense of well-being in the UK. Every day is pretty much sunny here.
As the weather is reliable here, you can actually make plans. Imagine that?! Knowing on the weekend the weather will be great, so you can plan a hike, BBQ, mountain biking etc. Anyone in the UK knows, how often plans are ruined because of the weather!
We will caveat this with the 2 months of extreme heat in Vegas of plus 40C / 104F. That said, you can still plan activities and work around the heat. Plus we rather 2 months of extreme heat and 10 months of great weather, than 10 months of bad weather and at best 2 months of summer ( at best, if you are lucky). Not to mention that the UK is not set up to handle the heat anyway!
2. They say in life there are only 2 things for sure, death and TAXES!
Well taxes will certainly get you in the UK. The taxes for the middle earners are penalizing in UK. Considering our incomes, we pay approx. 44% (averaged) of our total income in tax (salary and other income). In Las Vegas, we pay 25% of our total income in tax.
Here is the interesting thing …. A lot of people think the NHS is a free service – we hear it a lot. It is not. It is free at the point of use. In the UK you are able to track where your taxes go including how much of your income goes to which service. Between Ant & I, we were paying about £14k per year directly to the NHS. Our NHS usage is very minimal. Say 5 visits to the GP in 10 years and 1 hospital visit. NHS prescriptions are not free, they are subsided but still cost. In 2021 NHS prescriptions costs £9.35 about $13.
Our US medical insurance costs us about $400 per month and taking into account our usage, we estimate our total out of pocket per year will be about $6k including medical and dental care.
We save about £8k per year in medical and 20% in income tax.
3. The US affords you the choice in lifestyle.
We can choose whether we want to live in the rain, the sun, the desert, the mountains or by the beach. We can drive 3 hours in a direction and have all of that available to us.
In terms of the specific lifestyle in Las Vegas, we especially love the FOOD choices here! AMAZING!
Everything from Korean BBQ to Hot Pot, Ramen, Sushi, Chinese handmade noodles ( you may notice a theme here!). Mexican street tacos, Hawaiian, Greek, you name it, it is here. We could literally dine at a new, delightfully delicious place each night. Having access to tasty food definitely increases overall life happiness for us.
Communities are also set up with goals/objectives in mind. You want over 55s you got it, plenty of parks, you got it, you want an active family life you got it. You want a quiet cul-de-sac living, you got it. No gates, gates, double gated, triple gated communities you guessed it! You have got it! The gated community game is high here and perhaps ridiculous at times, but the point is, there is something for everyone.
There is also no traffic here is Las Vegas, +1000 life points. First world problems, we know (infact this in entire post is!), but there is definitely something soul destroying about losing hours of your life stuck in traffic going nowhere.
We also LOVE the American home design – They tend to have houses that are more functional and spacious.
We now have a space for a gym, car, bikes, pool, 2 home offices, guest room and all for the same price of a 3-bed apartment in the South East of England.
Interesting fact – the average home size in Las Vegas is 2400 sq ft (source: propertyshark.com) compared to 729 sq ft in the England! (source: housebeautiful.com)
4. Cheaper cost of living…overall
This is where it varies a lot in the UK, we come from the South East of England. It is the most expensive part of the country and so we are only talking about the south east but do appreciate we could have moved to a cheaper part of the UK (although probably worse weather wise).
Putting aside taxes, housing costs are significantly higher in the UK compared to the US. Comparing a 3-bed detached home in the best part of Las Vegas at $470k – $500k 2000 sq ft with garage and yard vs an okay area in the South East of England at $600-$700k for 1200 sq ft with garage 3 Bed detached.
Fuel here in Vegas costs about 50p per liter (at time of writing). There are some aspects which are more expensive e.g car insurance and utilities. Food and grocery shopping overall is about the same.
So you have higher take home pay and lower cost of living!
5. New beginnings!
We needed a change, having been born in the UK all our lives, we felt we needed to do something new. Neither of us are “sit around and wait for the pension” types so this is exactly what we needed.
Take a chance in life…. England is going nowhere overall it’s a great country to be a citizen of – if it doesn’t work out here, we can always go… to another country and try there… maybe Canada or Oz… then if those don’t work out, then maybe Thailand…. THEN IF that doesn’t work out come back to England ! 😊
We should add, these reasons to leave the UK for the USA may not apply to you in the same way, especially when it comes to the taxes and cost of living part. We both recognize that the UK serves the many (which is great!). As an example, if you earn under 70k GBP and rely heavily on the NHS then the UK will benefit you, which is in fact the majority. Once you cross that threshold it is definitely worth considering if the US works out better, taking into account the above (lower tax, lower housing cost, lower cost of living). Then once you cross the 120k GBP mark it is a no brainer, purely on a financial basis, the US will benefit you greatly. THEN if you are seeking better weather, less traffic and over better lifestyle then why not give it a go!
Overall life is about chances and opportunities. If you do what you’ve always done you will always get what you have got! And that’s fine if you are happy with your current way of life – but if you are like us and know and want more, start that journey now!
If our 5 reasons to leave the UK for the USA have convinced you and you are now wondering how to make the move happen. Check out our post – How to Move to the USA.
Watch our Video – Top 5 Reasons to Move to Las Vegas